Disinfo: Attack on Navalny was a false flag operation, just as the Skripal affair

Summary

The attack on Russian opposition member Alexei Navalny was a false flag operation whose lies were quickly exposed, forcing its authors to invent new arguments to cover them. As with the supposed attempt on the life of the MI6 double agent Sergei Skripal, this incident is a false flag operation to foment western hostility and sanctions against Moscow.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory not based in any evidence, aiming to deny any involvement of Russian authorities in the incident, as the use of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group against Russian dissident Alexei Navalny suggests. The presence of Novichok in Navalny’s body was established beyond any doubt by a specialist Bundeswehr laboratory. This is part of a pro-Kremlin disinformation campaign on the poisoning of Navalny, which follows the same playbook that the one deployed after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daugther in Salisbury in 2018, a case where there is strong evidence of the involvement of Russian intelligence operatives and high-level Russian officials. By claiming that is the US and not Russia who benefits from this incident, pro-Kremlin media are trying to deflect any Russian responsibility for it, a frequent Kremlin tactic. Also, the use of multiple and simultaneous versions of an event involving questionable actions by the Russian government or its allies, in order to confound citizens about the actual truth, is a recurrent pro-Kremlin disinformation strategy, already seen in the cases of the MH17 downing, the illegal annexation of Crimea, the murder attempt against the Skripals or chemical attacks in Syria. See other examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation narratives on Alexei Navalny’s poisoning in our database, such as claims that only caffeine and alcohol were found in his blood, that the US wanted to use it to block Russia's vaccine against coronavirus, that the West hopes that he dies to have an excuse for new sanctions, or that Western accusations about Navalny’s case are as false as they were about Sergei Skripal and Alexander Litvinenko. This disinformation message appeared in the same article as the claim that “To the West, Navalny is more valuable dead than alive as a propaganda tool” and that “The Germans invented the bottle with Novichok to hide that they contaminated Navalny’s body fluids in Berlin”

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 212
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 09/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Spanish, Castilian
  • Country: Russia
  • Keywords: novichok, false flag, Alexei Navalny
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Navalny is an agent of the Russian special services

Russian opposition blogger Alexei Navalny works for the Kremlin, causing confusion and vacillation in the ranks of anti-government forces. That is why Navalny always manages to get away with it, and the criminal cases initiated against him do not end with the liberal’s imprisonment.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative on the Navalny poisoning. Anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny has long been the most prominent face of Russian opposition to President Vladimir Putin. His candidacy in the 2018 presidential election was banned by authorities over his conviction by a Russian court of embezzlement, which bars him from running for office. He has been arrested and imprisoned several times during his political career.

On August 20 the prominent Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny fell ill during a flight and the plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Omsk, where doctors said that he was in a coma and that they were trying to save his life. Since then he has been transferred to Berlin and is receiving treatment at Berlin's Charite Hospital. On September 3, 2020, the German government published a statement that described how a military laboratory, certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), had found traces of the Novichok nerve agent in samples taken from Navalny. Later, German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave a special briefing. She told reporters that “There is unequivocal proof of the presence of this agent in the samples. It is therefore clear that Alexei Navalny is the victim of a crime.” The German government has briefed its allies in the European Union and NATO and plans to provide information about its findings to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). The European Union condemned the poisoning of Alexei Navalny in the strongest possible terms. Read similar cases claiming that the US hopes that the Navalny case will lead to the cancellation of Nord Stream 2, that the West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko and that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia.

The Western hysteria about Russia is part of a desire to attack Russia 

All the hysteria about Russia in recent years directly illustrates one thing: the main target of the attacks is Russia itself. Its sovereignty and existence. The West’s reaction to Navalny’s “poisoning” speaks of a strategic decision to confront Russia. It’s nothing more than a puzzle in a big, sinister game. This is a clear desire, outside of control, to inflict irreparable cultural and economic damage to the Russian nation. The strength of this desire is indescribable.

Disproof

Conspiracy theory presented without evidence, which is consistent with the Kremlin propaganda narrative that the poisoning of Russian opposition leader is in the interest of the West to use the case against Russia. See similar disinformation narratives that the West has an interest in the death of Navalny to launch a new wave of sanctions against Russia and West will falsely accuse Russia of poisoning Navalny, as with Skripal and Litvinenko. The doctors of the Berlin Charité Hospital did announce that initial findings point to the poisoning of the Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. The article is also consistent with a disinformation narrative about Russophobia and the constant 'attempts' to encircle Russia as well as about Western belligerence towards Russia.

Kyiv doesn't recognise the Luhansk and Donetsk People's Republics as Ukrainian territory

By banning elections in the Donbas, the authorities in Kyiv recognised that the Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics are not part of Ukrainian territory.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the war in Ukraine. On 25 October 2020, Ukraine will hold the country’s first nationwide local elections since completion of the initial phase of far-reaching decentralisation reforms launched in April 2014. The Central Electoral Commission of Ukraine has decided not to conduct elections in 18 communities of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions (in government-controlled areas). The reason for this is the letters from temporary Military-Civil Administrations (MCAs) and security recommendations from Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation (JFO) headquarters in the Donbas. Ukraine hasn't recognised the so-called DPR and LNR as independent states separate from Ukrainian territory. These are parts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions that are part of Ukraine but controlled by Russia-backed armed formations. Not a single country has recognised them as independent entities. Read similar cases: "The DNR and LNR gained independence from Ukraine", "Kyiv does not want rebel-held territories to rejoin Ukraine".